08/01/2020 | Press releases

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released its first inspection report for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

The CQC report has highlighted outstanding areas of care in the Trust while recognising there are still some areas which require improvement and the Trust’s overall rating is ‘requires improvement’.

The report has been welcomed by Helen Taylor, Chair, and Nick Hulme, Chief Executive.

Ms Taylor said: “We welcome this highly detailed report which finds much to praise about our teams working across the Trust and the care which is given to patients in all of the services inspected.

“It is a testament to the work of all our staff, including volunteers, that we have been rated as having outstanding care in children’s and young people services. The inspectors also singled out outstanding practice in maternity and end of life care.

“The report’s recommendations are extremely helpful in taking us forward for the future. Our overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ reflects some of the major challenges we face,” Ms Taylor added.

Inspectors also identified areas of excellent practice in Urgent and Emergency Care and Critical Care, and in Community Inpatients Care provided in the trust’s community hospitals.

Nick Hulme, Trust Chief Executive said: “This is a survey at a point in time. We were inspected six months ago when we were merging systems and process across our hospital sites, and we have now completed most of this work.

“It is really pleasing to see our end of life care praised for outstanding practice and children and young people’s services given an overall outstanding rating.

“The work we are doing as an integrated acute and community organisation is also recognised by the inspection team. The CQC highlighted the excellent work of the Short Term Assessment and Rehabilitation (STARR) Centre based at Bluebird Lodge, Ipswich.

“We know that there are some areas we clearly need to improve. We have invested £3million in nursing and have one of the lowest vacancy rates for nurses in the country at around 8%. We know that part of our challenge with our emergency department is with the constraints of the current building given the numbers of patients we now see. We have also recently changed our processes for caring for emergency patients at Colchester with the new urgent treatment centre, and we plan to do the same at Ipswich. It is good news that we have extra investment now to build a new emergency department at Ipswich with planning permission recently approved. These changes will really help us to improve our emergency department performance”, Mr Hulme added.

The inspection team from the CQC visited the Trust’s hospitals and services from 11 June 2019 until 18 July 2019. This included a three day inspection and follow up visits, plus a specific review on leadership. . They inspected 14 core services provided by the Trust. This was the first time the CQC had inspected the new East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. All core services at Ipswich Hospital were inspected because when this hospital became part of the new Trust, its CQC registration was dissolved.

The areas of excellent practice highlighted in the inspection report include:

  • Urgent and emergency services – consultants dedicating their own time to train medical and nursing staff.
  • Surgery – new technology to perform less invasive surgery with fewer complications.
  • Introducing a virtual fracture clinic so that patients no longer have to travel back to the hospitals in person.
  • Critical care – developing an innovative approach to staffing levels.
  • Maternity care – developing a calm, relaxing area for women being induced
  • The specialist bereavement midwife team were also highlighted for their work.
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